MLB All-Star Game updates: Pete Alonso’s no-so-secret weapon

Angels star Mike Trout has been put on the 10-day injured list retroactively to July 15 with a left chest infection.

“It’s definitely frustrating because … I can’t pinpoint exactly what caused it,” Trout said during Monday’s All-Star Game media availability. “It’s just started to bother me and unfortunately just one of those things.

“It got better,” Trout said, “and then when I started swinging again, it felt kind of different.

Trout described the problem as joint inflammation in his ribs, which showed up in tests after he first felt something. He didn’t seem too concerned about the nature of the injury, saying it wasn’t as serious as the calf strain that ended his 2021 season early.

Trout hopes the long All-Star hiatus will give him time to heal the inflammation.

He may return during the team’s next series in Atlanta.

Trout was dealing with what the team had previously described as upper back spasms.

Last week, Trout said he felt the problem deeper, near his ribs.

Trout first experienced upper back pain when the Angels played the Miami Marlins two weeks ago.

He missed four games in a row last week because of the problem. He was originally scheduled to start against the Dodgers on Saturday night but was scratched just before the first pitch after the problem flared up.

After that game, he decided to sleep over his decision not to attend Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium should his back feel better. He finally decided it was best not to play.

Mike Trout plays at the World Baseball Classic

Angels star Mike Trout talks to his son at the All-Star Game Monday before the MLB Home Run Derby.

Angels star Mike Trout talks to his son at the All-Star Game Monday before the MLB Home Run Derby.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Tony Reagins, the US general manager for the World Baseball Classic, said Trout will serve as team captain at the World Baseball Classic in March 2023.

“It means a lot,” Trout said. “The first time I missed the opportunity and I knew this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

Reagins, who drafted Trout during his tenure as the Angels’ GM, said Trout was the first person he called when he first started putting the team together.

“I know who he is as a player, as a person,” Reagins said. “I know how he’s going to represent our country, that’s why we’re doing it. And I know he knows guys too. We’ve already had some good conversations.

“There’s no one better to be in the foxhole with.”

Another All-Star who revealed he wants to play for the WBC in 2023 and has been in talks to join Team Canada: Freddie Freeman.

Pete Alonso looks forward to home run derby

New York Mets' Pete Alonso speaks to fans during batting practice a day earlier.

New York Mets batter Pete Alonso speaks to fans during batting practice ahead of Monday’s home run derby.

(Jae C Hong / Associated Press)

New York Mets hitter Pete Alonso and two-time defending home run derby champion is hot for Monday’s derby, an eight-man event starting at 5 p.m. at Dodger Stadium and televised by ESPN.

“It will be electric,” Alonso said on Monday. “I mean, Dodger Stadium is a great place to play. It’s going to be a full house and I think it’s going to be very special to compete in front of a lot of people. So I just want to stay inside myself and get out there and leave it all out there.”

Alonso won the 2019 Cleveland derby with a thrilling 23-22 win in the finals over Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The All-Star Game was canceled during the 2020 season curtailed by the pandemic. Alonso hit 35 home runs in the first round of last summer’s derby in Colorado before beating Trey Mancini 23-22 in the final.

“The biggest thing is to be relaxed and allow myself to perform,” said Alonso, who will face Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. in the first round on Monday, of his derby success. “That’s it. I think being in a relaxed but aggressive frame of mind is pretty much key.”

It doesn’t help to have a not-so-secret weapon in Dave Jauss, the 65-year-old coach who pitched against Alonso in last year’s derby and is considered one of baseball’s best hitting practice pitchers.

“He put it right in the breadbasket, right in the honey hole, right in the sweet spot of my swing,” Alonso said of Jauss after last summer’s derby. “We worked on that in practice.”

Jauss, who played college ball at Amherst, has always had a knack for consistently grooving beatable pitches.

“I don’t throw hard,” he said last year, “but I can close my eyes and hit a point.”

Jauss was the Mets bench coach in 2021 but took a job with the Washington Nationals that season. Being hired by another team was hardly an obstacle for Alonso, who secured Jauss for the derby.

“I had to pull his arm,” joked Alonso. “No … as soon as I called and asked him, he was like, ‘Oh, absolutely!’ I think he’s really keen to do it.”

Max Fried wishes he could play in the All Star Game

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried throws against the Washington Nationals Saturday.

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried throws against the Washington Nationals Saturday.

(Nick Wass/Associated Press)

Tuesday night’s All-Star game will be the first at Dodger Stadium since 1980, and while it may not be another 42 years before Los Angeles hosts the game, it’s likely the only chance the left-hander of the Atlanta Braves and Santa Monica native Max Fried had to line up at a Midsummer Classic in his hometown.

That makes the fact that Fried will not be available to play for the National League team after he pitched seven innings and 94 pitches in Atlanta’s 6-3 win over the Washington Nationals on Saturday somewhat disappointing.

Fried, a former Studio City Harvard-Westlake High star who was selected in the first round of the San Diego Padres in 2012, made his first Team All-Star by going 10-3 with an ERA of 2 in 19 starts .64 hit 109 and 109 going 22 in 119 1/3 innings.

“I think it would have been great, but just knowing that I threw a few days ago just didn’t make the greatest sense of pushing me,” said Fried, 28. “It was kind of a big picture thing, but I’m looking forward to being here and experiencing it.

“A big part of me would love to go out and compete against some of the best players in the world, but it’s definitely not a bad alternative.”

Mike Trout is still gaining All-Star experience

Angels slugger Mike Trout smiles during a loss to the Baltimore Orioles July 8.

Angels slugger Mike Trout smiles during a loss to the Baltimore Orioles July 8.

(Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

Trout was not required to attend the All-Star game in the media on Monday after the 10-time All-Star was placed on the 10-day injured list due to an early morning left chest infection.

But the Angels midfielder and three-times most valuable player in the American League didn’t think twice about spending about 30 minutes under the scorching sun speaking to reporters at Dodger Stadium, and he’ll be on the field for the home run derby Monday Night.

“The fans voted for me and are spending their hard-earned money on tickets, which are expensive,” Trout said. “Being here and interacting with the fans as much as possible means a lot to them. It means a lot to me.

“And obviously, for the first time, I’m going to bring mine [2-year-old son Beckham] to the field. I think this is a special moment for me. I look forward to it.”

In honor of Dodger Stadium’s 60th anniversary, we asked Janet Marie Smith, Dodger Executive Vice President of Planning and Development, to show us some of the lesser-known details about the stadium.

  • Clayton Kershaw will be the starting pitcher for the National League in this year’s All-Star Game, Major League Baseball announced during a Monday morning press conference at Dodger Stadium, giving the Dodgers left-hander his first career start in a Midsummer Classic. “Now that it’s finally here and I can start that game tomorrow night, it means a lot,” Kershaw said, adding with a laugh, “Hopefully I don’t screw it up too much.” Read more >>>
  • Angels star Shohei Ohtani, who is scheduled to referee the All-Star game for the American League opposite Kershaw, said he will not be attending the game.
  • Players on the field for tonight’s MLB Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium literally have the best seat in the house.
  • Meanwhile, teammates seem, uh, former Teammates Trea Turner and Juan Soto got along well Monday at Dodger Stadium. Soto is reportedly on the trading bloc, and it’s unclear where he might end up.
  • Remember, if Tuesday’s All-Star game is tied after nine innings, a home run derby will be used to determine the winner. Each league will use three clubs, each receiving three swings. MLB All-Star Game updates: Pete Alonso’s no-so-secret weapon

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